On the top level of the LEGO House, when it opens in September, you will find the Masterpiece Gallery: a space filled with models contributed by AFOLs from around the world. This space has eight skylights, arranged as the studs of a 2×4 brick. In the space between the studs, there will be three round podiums representing the tubes in a 2×4 brick: each with a very special model in position.
At the recent Fan Media Days, Senior Designer in LEGO House, Stuart Harris, was able to reveal that the three giant models on the three podiums in the gallery will be a LEGODUPLO dinosaur, a LEGOTECHNIC dinosaur and a LEGO SYSTEM dinosaur. Building the same dinosaur in these three systems will result in a very different result reinforcing the message about the endless possibilities of the LEGO brick.
Input for these models was received from a group of 26 AFOLs from around the world, and specific aspects of interest to their design was taken to the model design team. Look out for the Neat Parts Usage in some of the photos below.
He took some time to explain things to us had recently returned from the Kladno Model Shop in the Czech Republic. He brought news of these sculptures progress from the model shop:
“We wanted to create some unique and breathtakingly iconic models. At the same time we wanted to create opportunities within the house to showcase the incredible creativity and diversity of the AFOL community.”
Three dinosaurs, each approximately 3 meters (almost 10 feet in the old money) tall, and made of thousands of bricks. The first is built of around 50,940 Duplo elements. As you can see, there are some neat uses for digger buckets in the claws, and the DUPLO Turle element gets use as the eye! The texture is enhanced by floral and leaf elements. There is some really clever parts usage here!
The second dinosaur is made using 253 274 regular system elements. Using the more traditional elements that most of us are used to working with. The smaller elements allow a greater level of detail to be demonstrated in the skin texture and tones, than you would expect with the DUPLO model.
The third and final dinosaur is constructed using Technic elements.
This is one of the largest models ever attempted using TECHNIC pieces, with more than 298 431 elements. Elements were constructed into panels, before being joined together.
Like LEGOLand, and many other large scale sculptures, these models are subjected to the Kragle, and built up around a steel infrastructure to ensure stability in the face of hundreds of thousands of visitors per year. Apparently this is much harder to do with TECHNIC Elements than regular bricks
As well as the Dinosaurs, the Masterpiece Gallery will include models from respected AFOLs around the world.
So: Just How Did the Dinosaur Get Its Roar?
Stuart Harris: “You will notice each of the Dinos appears to be roaring and when you look under the dinos’ right foot you can see why. As every parent knows a foot is an ideal way to discover missing LEGO® bricks and it’s the same for the dinos with an enlarged 1×1 brick being trodden on.”
I remember my parents making that noise, but I would never accuse them of being dinosaurs!
You can also see details of some eggs to be found underneath the dinosaurs: rumour has it that with time, they may well hatch.
“We plan to refresh the AFOL content to allow more opportunities for fans to showcase their work and in time we’ll transition to a more open forum to source the work but for the opening we decided to hand pick suggestions made by the LEGO Ambassador Network.”
What do you think of these ambitious models? I am intrigued by the different techniques required between the different types of bricks and also excited by the scale of these models. Between these and the 15 meter tall Tree of Creativity, there is no doubt that there will be some truly memorable constructions to be seen at the LEGO House. I can’t wait to return to the house to see how these plans come to fruition. In the next report from the RLFM Days, I will show you what I was able to actually see in place…